Rinko Kawauchi at Mountain Fold

Rinko Kawauchi at the opening of her show at the mountain Fold Gallery

The Mountain Fold Gallery has a suitable name for a show by Rinko Kawauchi. The actual title of the show is 'Condensation' so if you say "Condensation at Mountain Fold", it sounds a little like a line from some sort of zen Koan.

I'm a big fan of Kawauchi's photographs (Her book 'Cui Cui' is one of my favourite pieces of published work), so despite a long day and a distinct lack of sleep I went down to the opening of this show, getting the opportunity to catch up with some friends in the process.

I'm glad I did, as this concise show of old and new work is a delight. There is an essence of something very peaceful and life affirming in her work. I began to think that she exemplifies the idea of the democratic image much better than Eggleston ever did. His work often seems to be forcing everyday objects to become equal to each other, whereas in Kawauchi's photographs I truly get the sense that a plastic bag brimming with goldfish is as important a part of life as a baby suckling and the bright sun glaring through a tunnel of trees. Though some of her photographs feel a little too casual - like a blurred shot of a bullfight taken from in the crowd - there is still an emotive power to these images. Looking at a couple of the pictures, I thought to myself, 'I would have edited that out for being too blurry, or the focus is not quite where I would have liked..." but I also thought that perhaps I would be wrong to do that. I have pictures I have taken which are not crisp, well composed, or sharp, but that I still love.

Life is not always something that is well defined and clear, so why do we try and make photographs that reflect the fact that it is. Talking about a slightly different subject, someone said to me that evening that if you are not open [minded] you don't ever learn anything.

Too true. thank you Rinko Kawauchi for having an open mind.

Rinko Kawauchi / untitled, 2009

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